Controversial artist, writer and musician, Bill Drummond has been presented with an Honorary Master of Arts at this year’s Summer Graduation Ceremonies.
Drummond was born in Butterworth, South Africa, where his father was a minister for the Church of Scotland. When he was 18 months old, the family moved back to Scotland and when he was 11 relocated to Corby, Northamptonshire. In 1970, Drummond enrolled on a Foundation Course at Northampton School of Art, a predecessor institution of the current University of Northampton.
After graduating, Drummond moved to Liverpool where after a spell at the Art and Design Academy, he worked in various jobs including carpenter and set designer at the Everyman Theatre. He then began a highly successful career in the music industry with highlights that include playing in and managing a succession of high profile bands.
Since 1998 Drummond’s wide ranging artistic work has been carried out under the name Penkiln Burn – this is the river in Scotland upon the banks of which he played and fished as a boy. Most recently in March 2014, beneath Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham, Drummond embarked upon a World Tour which will end at the same place in April 2025. This epic exhibition ‘The 25 Paintings’ will take in 12 cities in 12 different countries and will represent the latest groundbreaking initiative in Drummond’s prodigious and inspirational career.
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, commented: “In addition to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of summer 2014, we are also recognising high profile individuals who have collectively impacted, directly or indirectly, many millions of people worldwide through their acting, music, charitable activities or the social enterprises they run. These recipients of honorary awards will, no doubt, motivate our graduates as they go out into the world and transform lives and inspire change amongst all those who come into contact with them.”